Becoming the ideal conscious consumer is a hefty goal. Maybe someday I’ll become that serene woman who glides like an angel through the farmer’s market – who only consumes local, renewable produce, has a net 0 carbon footprint, and can fit all her trash for the year in a small canning jar. Unfortunately, transitions like these usually don’t happen overnight.
That’s why, every year, I make a few small commitments to consume less and support more companies that align with my values. In the past, I’ve switched from paper towels to dish towels, committed to carrying a water bottle, and making my own coffee at home. Over time, the changes really add up. Here are a few of the swaps I’m making and companies I’m supporting in 2021 to promote equality and live more sustainably.
Switch to a Safety Razor
Two billion plastic razors end up in the landfill every year, and they take 1000 years to decompose. Safety razors, on the other hand, are 0 waste. That’s a pretty big impact for swapping out just one item in your bathroom. It does take a little bit of getting used to, but I’ve found that safety razors actually provide a closer shave and less irritation. They are a bit pricer upfront, but over time, you’ll actually save money.
There are many types of safety razors to choose from. I choose to support OUI because they are black women-owned and have excellent reviews.
Use bar soap (and shampoo)
Ridding yourself of the plastic bottles needed for liquid soap should be reason enough to make the swap. But, using bar soap has additional benefits. Studies have shown that we use 7 times less soap when using a bar rather than liquid soap. That’s a financial and environmental saving.
Picking up bar soap after walking or biking to your local store is always the best choice for the environment. However, when online is the best route for your shopping, I’d recommend Dr. Bronner’s Soaps. Their soaps use simple products, and they are a family-owned, non-gmo and cruelty-free small business.
Switch to Environmentally Friendly Dishwasher Detergent
Certain chemicals in dishwasher detergent can harm marine life. Meanwhile, finding environmentally friendly detergents that actually work harmed my sanity. After trying at least a half a dozen brands, I found two that come in eco-friendly packaging, are cruelty-free, don’t contain toxic chemicals, and keep my dishes just as clean as they were before I made the switch.
I choose to support Public Goods because they are a small, cruelty-free company with excellent products and are committed to creating safe and environmentally friendly goods.
7th Generation (owned by Unilever) is another option with real cleaning power that you can often find at your local grocery store.
These swaps are super easy, likely to save you money, AND you’ll spend less time taking out the trash. For your other conscious consumerism goals, get Consciously, our browser extension, so that you can support companies that align with your values every time you shop online. Let’s make 2021 the year that we start using our buying power to start making the world a better place – one simple swap at a time.